Change of ownership for Gala Coral

Private equity houses to ease debt, inject more capital

The UK land and internet gambling group Gala Coral’s debt burden of some GBP2.6 billion will be eased under a new ownership arrangement comprising the group’s mezzanine debt holders, private equity houses Apollo, Cerberus, Park Square and York Capital Management.

The debt holders have converted their GBP558 million holding in the group into equity and injected a further GBP200 million in cash as part of a restructuring that will ease the group’s restrictive debt burden by some GBP 700 million.

The quid pro quo for this is ownership of the group, from which previous major shareholders Candover, Cinven and Permira, will now depart.

The infusion of GBP200 million will be used to expand the group’s online and offline businesses.

“I am delighted that, after nearly 12 months, we have successfully concluded one of the largest and most complex restructurings in UK corporate history, said the group’s executive chairman, Neil Goulden.

“The restructured group is now in a strong position and fully able to compete in an increasingly competitive and global gambling market.”

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